MGM Resorts is laying off 18,000 people as an unchecked pandemic leaves economic scars across numerous U.S. industries, particularly those that really on healthy crowds of people.
Casinos in Nevada closed March 17. Unemployment in the state reached 28.2%, topping levels last seen during the Great Depression. Casinos reopened in early June, but the climb back has been long and slow.
The layoffs at MGM caps a wave of job cuts and buyouts this week from a broad array of industries. Earlier on Friday, Coca-Cola said it was offering buyouts to 4,000 employees ahead of pending layoffs.
Half of Coca-Cola’s sales come from stadiums, movie theatres and other places where people gather in large numbers — venues that have been closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Revenue tumbled 28% in the Atlanta company’s most recent quarter.
United and American airlines, beset by plunging air travel, cut thousands of jobs this week. Tech company Salesforce is cutting 1,000 jobs and Bed Bath & Beyond cut 2,800 positions.
Those numbers represent only a fraction of the carnage across the U.S. economy. Thursday, the Labor Department reported that another million Americans applied for unemployment benefits. More than 14.5 million are collecting traditional jobless benefits — up from 1.7 million a year ago — with no end in sight.
The Conference Board, a business research group, reported this week that consumer confidence has tumbled to its lowest level since 2014. Consumer spending makes up about 70% of the economic activity in the U.S.
And although U.S. consumers increased their spending by 1.9% last month, it’s a small dose of support for an economy struggling to emerge from the grip of a pandemic that has held back a recovery and kept roughly 27 million people jobless.
MGM also operates casinos in Mississippi, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and overseas in Macao.
The Associated Press